International Challenge Match
Czech Republic 0-1 Scotland
Thursday 24th March 2016, kick-off 7.45pm
Stadion Letnà, Prague

(Anya 10')

Ikechi Anya's first-half strike gave battling Scotland a 1-0 friendly win over Czech Republic at the Generali Arena in Prague.

The home side had hit the woodwork before the Watford winger raced on to a Ross McCormack pass in the 10th minute to drive low past goalkeeper Tomas Koubek.

The Czechs fought back fiercely and Scotland 'keeper Allan McGregor was peppered with attempts on goal but managed to keep the home side at bay. A string of saves in the first half, along with some help from his defence after the break, kept the home side out.

It was a mostly backs-to-the-wall performance by Gordon Strachan's side but as a first step to rebuilding for the  2018 World Cup qualifiers which begin later in the year, it will be good enough for the national team boss.

As usual, the Scotland supporters turned up in their numbers to see Aberdeen midfielder Kenny McLean making his debut, the only new face in an experienced side, captained by Darren Fletcher. Rght-back Alan Hutton was making his 50th appearance for the national team in Prague.

Fulham forward Ross McCormack, left out of the original squad but then drafted in as a late replacement for the injured Steven Naismith, was asked to lead the line supported from wide by Robert Snodgrass, back in the side after recovering from a long-term knee injury, and Ikechi Anya.

Before the game there was a minute's silence for Holland hero Johan Cruyff who passed away earlier in the day.

The first scare for the visitors came in the eighth minute when  Christophe Berra fouled Vladimir Darida 25 yards out.
Borek Dockal curled a wonderful free-kick against the bar with Allan McGregor beaten, with David Limbersky's header from the rebound was clawed away for a corner bu the Hull City goalkeeper.

Moments later, from out of the blue, McCormack sent Anya racing clear at the other end and the Watford wide-man drilled his shot low past Tomas Koubek, making his first start, to give the Scots an unlkely lead.

The Czech Republic responded fiercely and, with the Scots under pressure, McGregor made a brilliant save from Darida's piledriver from distance before blocking an angled drive from Josef Sural.

The goal had sparked the Czechs into life and McGregor was forced into another save, this time from striker Tomas Necid.

The home side's pressure had subsided just before the interval but they had Scotland on the back foot from the restart.
Necid headed a Limbersky cross wide from 10 yards in the 51st minute before his close-range drive was blocked by Hutton, Scotland surving once more.

At the other end, in a rare Scotland attack, McLean took a pass from Anya and drove across the six-yard box but found no takers.

In the 58th minute Barry Bannan replaced Andrew Robertson and Matt Phillips came on for McLean, and the QPR player headed staight at Koubek moments later.

Still the Czech Republic came forward looking for the leveller but there was a penalty claim in the 73rd minute when Hutton was challenged inside the Czech Republic box by Limbersky. The Irish referee Paul McLaughlin, however, took no action.

In the 84th minute Phillips headed an Anya cross past the post before the goal scorer made way for Birmngham City defender Paul Caddis, another debutant, who helped Strachan's side see out three added minutes for the morale-boosting win.

Scotland: McGregor, Hutton, Martin, Berra, Robertson (Phillips 58'), Mulgrew, Snodgrass, Fletcher (C), McLean (Bannan 58'), McCormack (Watt 77'), Anya (Caddis 88')

Subs not used: Bain, Greer, McDonald